By Michelle Graff
Paramus, N.J.--Movado Group reported Thursday that sales increased in both the fourth quarter and fiscal year, but the watch maker is tempering its 2016 outlook as the retail environment remains challenging.  

Net sales for the watch company whose brands include Movado, Ebel and Concord were up 1 percent year-over-year to $594.9 million in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates, net sales increased 6 percent year-over-year.

Gross profit increased to $316.9 million, or 53 percent of sales, compared with gross profit of $310 million, or about 53 percent of sales, last year. Movado said a favorable shift in channel and product mix, selective price increases and sourcing improvements helped to buoy gross profit but that was mostly offset by the unfavorable impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates.

Net income slid from $51.8 million to $45.1 million.

In the fourth quarter, Movado’s net sales increased 7 percent, from $133.9 million to $143.3 million. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates, net sales were up 10 percent year-over-year.

Gross profit grew from $67.4 million, or 50 percent of sales, to $75.4 million, or 53 percent of sales, while net income fell from $10.1 million to $7.9 million.

Commenting on the company’s results, Chairman and CEO Efraim Grinberg called the company’s fourth quarter performance “solid” and noted that the Q4 and full-year performance “demonstrate the strength of our Movado brand and licensed brand portfolio, which continue to outperform the overall watch market, as well as the early success of our new collection launches.”

Despite the company’s solid finish to the year, Grinberg said they expect the retail environment to remain “challenging” in the coming year. 

As a result, Movado projects sales of $585 million to $600 million, and net income of $43.3 million to $46.7 million.  

Also on Thursday, Movado announced that Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Rick Coté, who joined the company in 2001, will retire in June. He will remain on the board of directors.

The company said it will not replace him.

In addition, Grinberg announced that the company has increased its ownership of its joint venture subsidiaries in France and Germany to 100 percent.

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